Jared Leto is apparently set to play another pale-faced comic book monster. The Oscar winner, whose recent genre credits include Blade Runner 2049 and a co-starring role as The Joker in 2016's Suicide Squad, will take the title role in Morbius, Sony's upcoming Spider-Man spinoff based on the Marvel Comic character Morbius: The Living Vampire, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The film will be directed by Daniel Espinosa, whose most recent film was last year's sci-fi thriller Life, and who was reportedly among the directors considered last year for Warner Bros.' upcoming live-action version of Akira.
Morbius is Dr. Michael Morbius, a gifted scientist who attempted to cure his rare blood disorder via chemistry. The experiment failed, and instead he developed fangs, pale skin, and a thirst for blood, as well as superhuman strength. The character was introduced as a villain for Spider-Man in 1971 by writer Roy Thomas and artist Gil Kane, but has since taken on more of an antihero status, headlining his own solo stories as well as team-ups like The Legion of Monsters.
A Morbius film has been in development at Sony since at least last fall, alongside other Spider-Man spinoff projects like Venom, Silver and Black, and most recently Silk. Director Antoine Fuqua (The Equalizer, Training Day) had expressed interest in the property as recently as April, but now it seems Espinosa has landed the job. According to THR, the project also already has a script in place from Netflix Lost in Space creators Burk Sharpless and Matt Sazama.
There's no word yet on exactly when we could expect to see Morbius hit the screen. As previously mentioned, it's one of numerous superhero projects in various stages of development at Sony right now, so it's unclear when it will fall in the release schedule. Plus, Leto apparently isn't done playing the Joker for Warner Bros. yet, so we'll have to wait and see how this fits in with the rest of his workload.
UPDATE: Leto has seemingly confirmed his involvement in the film with a post to his official Instagram. The image is the cover of the first collection from Morbius' most recent solo series by writer Joe Keatinge and artists Richard Elson and Valentine De Landro, which debuted in 2013.
What do you think? Will Leto be a good fit for Morbius? Does Morbius deserve his own movie? Most importantly, does this mean we'll finally get a Legion of Monsters film someday? Let us know in the comments!